A Spectacled Bear in the Mountains of Machu Picchu – A Wonderful Experience

Pablito the bear in Machu Picchu (Photo: Fidelus Coraza Morveli)

Organizing and taking groups to the citadel of Machu Picchu one day became a very special day. Why? This is my story.

One day in early September, my group of 11 Polish passengers and I left the hotel to visit the citadel of Machu Picchu, entering at the first visiting time at 6:00 am. When they opened the access doors to the citadel, we started our tour through the different sectors of Manchu Picchu. The tour normally lasts approximately between 2:30 to 3 hours. At the end of our tour we go to the access point to Machu Picchu Mountain which is at a height of 3,061.28 meters above sea level. All passengers that enter must register their name, passport number and time of entrance. In the same way when leaving the mountain they must re-register their exit. This is a form of control to know that all the passengers have left the mountain.

My group and I started climbing the mountain at 9:05 a.m. The road at the beginning was easy, after half an hour, we all started to ask how much still remained since we were a bit tired. We continued the walk and the road became a little more difficult. Small stone steps appeared and soon, our knees began to hurt. With positive mind and good energy we continued the ascent. As we were moving we saw other people already returning after their visit. Most of my passengers began to ask them how much we were still had to go. They said “15 minutes”. The joy that we were near was reflected in the eyes of the tourists. The 15 minutes went and we still did not arrive. We asked other tourists how much more there was and they said “15 minutes more”, and so on.

It took us an hour and a half to get to the highest part. When we got there, completely exhausted, we opened our eyes so big because we say a small and rare spectacled bear also called the Andean bear. It looked so beautiful that immediately we all took our cameras and cell phones to take pictures and to video. It did not look frightened and approached the tourists without any fear. Apparently, it looked for us to give it something to eat.

Pablito the bear in Machu Picchu (Photo: Fidelus Coraza Morveli)
Pablito the bear in Machu Picchu (Photo: Fidelus Coraza Morveli)

One of the tourists puled from his backpack a red apple. When it saw this fruit, the bear came to him and stood on two legs. It raised its paws and made a sound we all understood as if he was asking to give him the apple. The tourist immediately gave it to him and the bear went away to the side of the mountain to eat in privacy.

All very happy, they said “how fortunate we are”. One of the tourists began to call him by the name of Pablito, I do not know why. Perhaps it was in honor of the first guide in Machu Picchu, the little boy Pablito who helped Hiram Bingham. On hearing this the bear returned to our side. Then from all sides was heard Pablito here, look here. We were told this bear is a baby, around 8 months old. Its mother must be near. Everyone was scared and looked around. Some asked what would we do if his mother came. We could not all go down the steps, some would have to jump. They all looked and laughed until the ranger appeared and frightened the bear. Suddenly a very tired child arrives and starts asking everyone where the bear is. Everyone told him it left. He began to cry and shout “I I love the bears, it’s not fair that I did not see it, bring me to the bear, mama I want to see the bear”. He cried and cried so loudly that we all felt sorry for him. But that’s life. His family will have to return to Machu Picchu.

The Bear trying to get fruit (Photo: Fidelus Coraza Morveli)
The Bear trying to get fruit (Photo: Fidelus Coraza Morveli)

So that everyone knows the bear of glasses better, I will say the following.

The spectacled bear, also known as the Andean bear, lives in the humid Andean forests, usually brown or black and has a white spot that surrounds its eyes. It is an endangered animal and lives on mountainous niches which range from 800 to 3800 meters above sea level, although they sometimes reach altitudes of 4,750 meters above sea level. They usually feed on plant foods such as fruits, grasses, roots, etc. People have been killing them because they show danger to agriculture and crops and on the other hand people have been logging many forests. Today there are protected natural areas that preserve and protect this animal, including the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. This beautiful animal today is the protagonist of the new collection 1 sol coins.

If you are going to visit the Mountain of Machu Picchu there is the possibility that you will encounter this beautiful animal, although others say it is a matter of luck.

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